Copa-Cogeca call for support for EU fruit and veg producers hit by Russian ban

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Copa and Cogeca sent a letter to the EU Commission this week calling for support measures for EU fruit and vegetable growers to be extended to offset the impact of the Russian ban on EU exports, after President Putin announced that the ban will continue until 2016.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen warned “EU fruit and vegetable producers and their cooperatives have been hard hit by the unprecedented crisis caused by the Russian ban on EU fruit and vegetable exports. The EU summer fruit season has just started and this announcement by President Putin risks provoking a big drop in prices paid to producers unless action is taken.A repeat of what happened last season when producer prices were below production costs for most of the season cannot happen again. We have already seen producers prices for peaches and nectarines fall by 20 cents per kilo in some regions in the last weeks – measures must be taken to prevent this from escalating. Summer fruit

Outlining key actions, he said “Current measures which are due to run out in a few days and which enable products to be withdrawn from the market and distributed freely to for example charities, non-food uses, green harvesting must be extended and be introduced before prices drop to prevent the market from collapsing. Article 219 of EU Regulation 1308/2013 allows exceptional measures to be taken when the market is at risk as is currently the case to prevent crises from occurring. The list of products also needs to be enlarged. Application of article 222 of the CAP is also necessary to enable producer organisations like agri-cooperatives to react quickly.

“Producers are very worried about the situation which is a result of a political dispute and which they are the victims of. They should not have not to pay for the consquences of it. Urgent action is required to help stabilise the market and avoid disruptions”, he stressed.

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